DENVER – All live donor liver transplants have been temporarily suspended at a Colorado hospital, and an investigation has been launched following the death of South Dakota man who donated part of his liver to his brother, FOX 31 reported.
Ryan Arnold of Watertown, S.D., died on August 2, just four days after the transplant surgery in which he gave part of his liver to his brother, Chad, 38, who was suffering from primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), which is a disease that damages and blocks bile ducts inside and outside the liver.
The surgery took place at The University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora on July 30.
Arnold, who was a healthy 34-year-old, went into cardiac arrest and eventually fell into a coma one day later, according to the report. He never recovered.
Shortly before the procedure, Arnold told FOX 31 he wanted to give his brother the chance to live a long life.
"I'm healthy, and I know I'll stay healthy," Arnold told the television station. "I'll recover, and I want to see him do the things he wants to do, and spend time with his family, and I want to have him around for a long time."
Arnold is survived by his wife, Shannon, and three sons, ages 1, 4, and 6.
His brother Chad is now recovering at home. He's tired and weak, but otherwise doing well.
Live Liver Donors
On average, most living liver donors are hospitalized for about a week, according to the Mayo Clinic, and the great majority of donors are completely recovered within a few months. But this surgery is not without risks. The Mayo Clinic’s transplant team estimates a risk to a liver donor’s life of 0.5 to 1 percent.
As for The University of Colorado Hospital – the facility performed its first successful live donor liver transplant in 1997. Since then, the hospital has conducted 141 successful live donor liver transplants.
The death would be Colorado's first of a live liver donor and the fourth in the country if it's ruled it was a result of the procedure, according to the United Network of Organ Sharing.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.